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Stop Talking About Your Film & Make It: How Daniel Patrick Carbone Went for Broke & Wound Up 'Smiling'

Hide Your Smiling Faces Still 3

No budget, no experience, and no Ryan Gosling — I’m not as cynical as Strong Bad, but this recipe rarely bakes into an “indie film” hit. And yet, Daniel Patrick Carbone’s first feature Hide Your Smiling Faces did just that, becoming the underdog knockout of the Tribeca Film Festival and being cited as one of the best films of 2013 so far! Daniel was kind enough to sit down with NFS  for a video interview from his Brooklyn apartment about anything from working with kid actors, to color grading the New Jersey outdoors, to how 2001: A Space Odyssey pairs with Jeremy Piven in PCU.

Daniel explains what it’s been like to make Hide Your Smiling Faces, described as “an atmospheric exploration of life and death in rural America, as seen through the distorted lens of youth.” Plus he shares a tiny SNEAK PEAK of the movie, so you can see for yourself:

Thank you, Daniel! Check out Hide Your Smiling Faces and follow them on Facebook to find out when, where, and how you can see the whole film.

Carbone employed the fundraising-fuggedaboutit-shoot-low-budget approach. Would this work for your film? And what three movies would YOU play on repeat until the end of time in a (purely hypothetical) NY taxi vortex?

Link: Hide Your Smiling Faces


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • Oh my word, Oakley, I never thought I’d see a strongbad reference here, that was so appreciated.

  • Very nice interview. Would love to watch the film… also, getting stuck in a taxi-vortex with 3 movies looping forever? I’d like a movie that can help me stretch my bones please.

  • I’m going to go with Commando on an eternal loop.

  • Off Topic, but I think readers will want to see this. It’s a Radiant Images camera comparison test video from Cinegear. The most interesting part to me was at 9:37 to 10:42 where colors are compared between Alexa, Red, and F35. I personally go with Red because of the clearer natural detail. The F35 does make nice colors though. Alexa seems to take last in that comparison.

    at vimeo

  • This film looks great, I hope I can see it somehow. Great interview too, thanks.

  • Oh hello. What a nice all rounded interview. Time I started paying attention to NFS writers names – beyond Joe Marine (who everyone loves) and Marbelle (who has a great avatar) – coz I didn’t know of Oakley. Thank you!

  • The cover still shot is taken at the Paulinskill Viaduct out in western NJ. Very nice use of locations.
    WeirdNJ eat your heart out.

  • this was a wonderful interview to watch, Oakley. HYSF really is an amazing, amazing film – from the very first frame the film is told with so much restraint, and patience, and mystery. also, I’ve never seen stalker… I think it’s finally time I sit down and watch that one.

    • Artemis Jaen on 06.14.13 @ 1:56PM

      Stalker is a total must. And if you watch it, you should try to find a translation of Roadside Picnic by the Strugatski brothers, the story it was based on, then you’ll see what the director really did. Creating so much atmosphere from so little. The film has haunted me since I first saw it years ago.

  • Awesome interview and seems like a really intelligent guy, can’t wait to see the film.

    I am getting a little worn on these types of article attempting to paint movies as being made with no money and no experience, only to find in this case the director has been through an expensive film school, shot the film with a red and a full crew which is kind of the opposite.

  • Oakley, that was awesome! I could learn some interviewing tips from you for sure :-)

  • I had the chance to see this at it’s Tribeca premiere. It was refreshing to see a film that captivated with such delicate patience.

    Go see it!

  • I love nofilmschool, but I’m not loving this move to get more and more authors to write more and more content throughout the day. Before when an article was written, it was exciting – my coworkers and classmates would discuss them since we all read and enjoyed them. Now, I have to browse headlines to dig through the clutter to find the “good stuff”.

    This isn’t intended as a slight against the new authors—they are doing a great job. I’m just not loving this emphasis to get more and more stuff written every day. We’ve seen it happen with other, non-film-related sites (like Engadget, Wired, Lifehacker, Fastweb, etc.) and it’s just created so much noise to dig through to find relavent, quality information. I don’t want that to happen to my favorite blog. To gain quantity, it seems like consistency and eventually quality have to suffer. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way.

    • Anthony Marino on 06.12.13 @ 6:26PM

      Clutter? Are you serious? Different strokes for different folks. The new writers are a fresh perspective, plus most are women…so why the negativity? Underhanded compliments are easy to spot, so give the they guys a break. You sound like the people who complain about what’s on the television and can’t seem to change the channel. You have that right to read or not to read the article. In that regard it’s still a free country, so be nice :)

      • Yes….way too much dirt to sift through.
        And in the end no Gold Bricks..just couple nuggets each month.
        Too much Repition. Too much Work for Too little Reward.

      • I agree you Anthony, for the most part. But what does “plus most are women” mean? Are we supposed to like a post more because it’s written by a woman? That’s how I understood your comment.

        Coincidentally, this post has been one of my favourites as it’s relevant to what I want to do in the not too distant and Daniel’s insights into working with kids and how he handled them were great! I love all the tech posts about cameras and stuff too, but this kind of thing is just what is needed.

        Good work NFS.

  • “Would this work for your film?” … The answer is different for every project.

    But there is definitely good advice for ALL of us here… “Don’t wait 5 years to raise a million dollars and don’t forget why you wanted to make the film in the first place.” :)

  • Oakley Anderson-Moore on 06.8.13 @ 4:00PM

    I sort of interpret his advice as “don’t let the outside world’s notion of what you need to make a film stop you from making your film.” I took the no-money-no-problem approach on my film – I didn’t wait five years to shoot, but holy hell, five years later, I AM still trying to finish the damned thing. Personally, the ‘remember why you made it in the first place’ is the most resonant!

  • Hello Koo.

    Thanks for such an awesome website!

  • Oakley, I’m going to disagree with you on the first have of this. “Don’t let the outside world . . . ” I think the ‘advice’ in question is more valuable as “Don’t let your idea of what you need to make a movie stop you . . . ” I see more friends saying, “But I need to have all these things in place before I can make this thing” Rather than, “What do I have and what stories can I tell with this.” or ” I want to tell this story. How can I tell it with these things that I have.” I find most often the most creative and thereby most compelling solutions to problems come from that outlook. It’s like the scene in “Apollo 13″ Where the guy says, “We need to make THIS fit into THIS using THIS.”

    Now obviously there are things that you need. There just are. But instead of always waiting for everything to be perfect (spoiler: It never will) Go out and make your movie. Yes at some point you will be able to argue, “I we had X, Y, and or Z, it would have been a better movie.” But just as often you will find, ” You know what, you don’t need that or this or the other thing.” and having learned that you are better equipped to make a second movie. Now I’ll see if I can get out my way again, and make another movie.

    I hope you finish yours soon, and I look forward to reading about it here at NoFilmSchool.

  • Oakley Anderson-Moore on 06.9.13 @ 1:55PM

    Michael, I think what you’re saying is also completely true. I remember maniacally insisting that we bring 3 giant plastic trees strapped to the top of a van for some 2000 miles, just in case we had to recreate a forest background for an interview. Never used them of course. Cost me $50 bucks per tree! (I think they got left somewhere in Colorado?) Point being, “what do I have and what stories can I tell with this…” I like that.